Our Valentine’s Day kid’s craft was inspired (indirectly) by my daughter’s preschool. Instead of buying Play-Doh, every month one of the parents is assigned to make homemade playdough for the classroom. January was my month, and I knew that as soon as we made it K would want to play with it. Instead of letting her play with the classroom playdough, I decided we would make a second batch just for us. Then I got to thinking about how I could make it even more fun…
Since my mother leaves her Christmas tree up through February (she takes down all of the Christmas ornaments and replaces them with hearts for Valentine’s Day), I decided K should make ornaments for Mimi. Of course, once we got going K decided she should make ornaments for everyone on her list. (Dear friends and family, if you are reading this, please act surprised when K presents her goodies!)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1/2 cup salt
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
Optional – food coloring or glitter.
Add all liquids to a sauce pan. Next add the dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Over medium heat continue stirring until the mixture pulls away from the sides and becomes clumpy. Remove from heat and continue to stir. At this point you will be able to pick up balls of playdough. Store in plastic container.
K was fascinated by the whole process, and loved helping to mix the ingredients. For our playdough, I decided to add red glitter. Unfortunately, I don’t remember how much I added. I just kept adding to the dry ingredients until it looked like it was mixed throughout. In hindsight, less is more on the glitter. It continues to come out of the playdough as you play with it, so we had red glitter everywhere. But it was fun.
Next we busted out the heart shaped cookie cutters and got to work making our ornaments. (Don’t forget to put a whole in your shapes if you are making ornaments, we used a straw.) The hearts took several days to dry thoroughly, flipping them daily to dry both sides.
If you don’t want to mess with glitter or food coloring, another idea is to use markers to color the shapes once they are dry.
This is a quick, easy and cheap project for kids. The only downside is the drying time.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Note: If you just want to “play” with your playdough, store in an air-tight container between uses. (That’s what they do in my daughter’s class.) Plus since it is so cheap to make, when it starts to dry out just toss the old and make a new batch.8